Summer vacations!!🌞🌞 Kids are free from daily school drill & ready to relish this summer holidays. But when kids are at home, parents get more busy to keep them entertained & active. Parents think this free time can be used for overall growth of their kids so they plan lined up activities or send them to summer camps or join extra curricular classes .🏊⛹🤾
When I was thinking about all these, a thought came to my mind about the “good old days!” How this 2018 summer vacation is different from our 80s & 90s vacations.
Summers were simpler back in the day. It was “the” time when you let yourself loose! My parents never spent special money & efforts to keep us entertained. We were told to just go outside & play! !! Not for limited hours but from dawn to dusk !!💃🏃
In those days without Internet, phone & Whats app, the communication was “relatively slow” which means we used to anticipate the family get-together which in itself was quite exciting. We had the time of our lives living those days.
Yes! it was the time when all relatives gather for 1-2 weeks, the best part was company of cousins . 😍I’m really blessed to have so many maternal & paternal cousins . Wherever we meet, we always had blast. Grandparents house was perfect meeting point for us.
My both grandmas were excellent cooks , lovable & very kind. But at the same time very strict about routines & rituals. They would never allow us to enter kitchen without bath & most of the time cooked everything by themselves.
It would be insane if I don’t mention Mango in summer. Aamras puri with batata bhaji(potato veg ) & masale bhat(fried veg rice) , aamrakhand(mango shrikhand) , kairi bhaat(mango rice) ,methamba (unripe mango curry ) all these are Maharashtra’s special recipes . So tempting!!! 😋😋😋Just by writing name I’m craving for it badly . My mom, grandma, aunties always made sure we get delicious & different treat everyday . Even if no special dish we would be happy to have plain rice- dal , khichadi or just kachha chiwda (puffed rice mixture).
Nothing is more satisfying than chilled water in mataka(earthen pot) but to beat the heat we had rounds of juice, Sharbat for full day. 🍉🍋🍊
Nimbu(lemonade), kokam sharbat, jaljeera , panha(unripe mango juice ), lassi(buttermilk) & flavorful Rasana .🍯🍸🍹🍧 We had many failed attempts of making kulfi or ice cream at home as we impatient souls had habit of opening freezer every 15 mins to check whether it was done or not. So many times we ended up drinking kulfi juice & icecream shakes only .🤧🤧
How can I forget weekly special Neem leaves juice from grandma & how we used to hide here & there. But granny made it compulsory for everyone because of its cooling nature & antibacterial property. Really can’t think of it now but that time had to gulp down full glass in one go .🤢🤢
Long power cuts was like a chance to do something creative.🖌✂
Shortage of water would turn into long relay by standing few meters apart & passing buckets to each other till every pot filled with water. When heat was unbearable , sprinkling water on curtains, bed, carpets & single mischief was like a break point for water fight.💦💦
when missing someone writing letters on postcards.📬…really we had so many ways to kill boredom . Also playing cards, carom, board games , reading books, taking rounds to library, recording/listening songs on cassettes was regular activities. 📻🎲🎯
If bored with all these then running to nearby rental VCR shop, renting few VCDs & watching 3-4 movies back to back with entire colony .📼📺
Evenings were spent in either parks enjoying street food or in market for window shopping & more bargaining😉😉 or Meena bazar(Fun fair) for rides & yummy chat items .🎢🎡
We cook together, enjoy the mangoes, savor the sugarcane juice and just chill! At night, we used to sleep on the terrace under the stars.🌃🌒 Playing antakshari , scary ghost stories at midnight 👻, making strange sound to disturb sleepy neighbors & pretending to sleep just before loosing their cool!!
How can I forget special malai kulfi & mataka kulfi which used to come after midnight only and then slowly going down to get money & creating such a blunder that would wake up every person in that house. Finally going to bed only after scolding from elders of our house.
At that time ready made food was not so popular option & no machines were available for papad, chips, sewayan, pickles , juices etc.
Ladies used to make it at home & stock it for a full year. All these requires lots of patience , skills & perfections . Being smaller in family my imperfection while making it got ignored😷 but my elder sis & cousins always been instructed about how Papad should be exactly in round shape, sewayan thickness should be very fine & loop should not be broken, boiled potato chips should be separated fast, big earthen pickle jar shouldn’t be touched by anyone & so so many…….
Really I don’t remember being bored ! It was so much fun trying new things every day & helping mom in drying food stuff on terrace & then waiting impatiently for first lot of fried chips/papad. Sneaking out on others terrace to check dried stuff & jumping from one wall to another. (Sorry aunties, it wasn’t monkey who had stolen your amla & tamarind candies…😛😎)
Really how mad we were behind those small-small things. When air coolers came & because of overpopulated mosquitoes , we gradually stopped sleeping outside . Every Summer heat was scorching but we had “desert” coolers which would transform the home from cauldron of heat to a freezer within minutes!
Life as we know it now was very, very different! We had a lot of time…so much that there were times…we did “nothing”. Seems like a luxury today but absolutely true!
While things are dramatically different today, we do miss those days. That does not mean that life is boring today. It’s just that the idea of enjoyment and sharing has changed. It’s very important not to forget those days. As the saying goes – Never forget who you are and where you belong!
The summer is approaching in Bahrain and very soon we will be off to India for the vacations to spend time with my parents & in laws.
I know this post will bring back a lot of fond memories for many friends. Do you have similar experiences? Please share if you like.
Image credits- Self, Google & shutterstock.
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